Thursday, June 21, 2012

Crunchy Like Granola

This post has absolutely nothing to do with granola. But rather my descent into becoming a "crunchy granola mom". It started with making my own baby food and has now led me to making my own laundry soap (stay tuned for chemical free pest control-  seriously I'm making some to deal with some ant issues- but I digress).

I had seen many a blog post about how easy, safe, and effective homemade laundry soap is. But I always bought my laundry soap on sale (BOGO and coupons- thank you Publix!) and I buy the "free" kind so I figured I was eliminating at least some of the chemicals. But recently my husband has thought that the laundry was making him itch. That was just the excuse I needed to try my hand at making laundry soap. From start to finish (including clean up and one rather large spill) this whole project took about an hour.

I followed this recipe from Liz Marie Blog that I had pinned quite some time ago. Word to the wise (and take note because you will probably never see this again) go to Walmart. Ordinarily, I find Walmart to be an exhaustive place with a terribly confusing layout and poorly trained employees. However, a trek to Target revealed that they didn't have 90% of the ingredients needed for this project (and I'm mad at Target anyway but I can't order everything off Amazon). So off to my Walmart I go- and wouldn't you know it right there in the laundry aisle is every single stinking item needed to make this laundry soap. They were all right next to each other practically begging me to take them home.

Onto the recipe-

Opps! I forgot to photograph the OxyClean. Use your imagination. 

Laundry Soap  (Makes 2 Pounds*)

1 box (4lb 12 oz) of Borax
3 bars of Fels-Naptha Soap**
1 box (4lb) of Baking Soda
1 box of Super Washing Soda
4 lbs of Oxy-Clean

*Liz Marie Blog says this makes 4 pounds but it has got to be a typo because I made it with the exact same ingredients and I even bought the same 2 pound storage container (again from Walmart).

**Other recipes I have seen say you can use any bar soap (i.e. Dove, Dial, etc. but I've also seen reviews that they can leave a little soap scum in the washer and/or on the clothes).

Step 1: You need to grate/shred the Fels-Naptha Soap. I saw on My Earth Garden this tip to microwave the soap to make it brittle. I microwaved it about 2 minutes- it kinda "bubbles" up for lack of a better word. I then removed from microwave, let it cool, and cut it into large hunks that I then sent through the food processor.

Spongy looking Fels-Naptha post-microwave.

After a quick trip around the food processor.

Step 2: Pour remaining ingredients together and combine with Fels-Naptha. I used a clean garbage bag but when you mix it all together it is really heavy so make sure your garbage bag can handle it.

Step 3: Mix up thoroughly. I used a large spoon and my hands but you could also run the entire mixture through your food processor in small batches.

Step 4: Put into your choice of storage container.

It really was as easy as everyone says. Once it was done I was so excited that I went and scrounged up a load of laundry. My clothes are clean and my HE washing machine doesn't have any residue or film. I used about 2 Tablespoons of soap for one load. I did put a 1/4 cup of vinegar mixed with a few drops of essential oils for fabric softener. I got that tip from My Earth Garden as well- in addition to softening the clothes it is supposed to help remove any soap residue. I was skeptical of the vinegar (I was convinced my clothes would come out all stinky) but it seems to have worked somewhat. Its not comparable to liquid fabric softener but they were softer than if I had used nothing.

Linking up to:

UPDATE: We have an HE washing machine- I did find that if I do not use 1/4 Cup of vinegar for fabric softener that there was some soap residue on the machine (not on the clothes). Despite my fears the clothes do not smell even remotely like vinegar however you can infuse your vinegar with scents. My machine has a compartment for fabric softener but if yours does not just add it during the rinse cycle. I will say even the dirtiest loads are clean and my hubby has stopped itching!

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